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Game of Thrones, Season 6: The Great, the Good, the Meh & the Ugly

BIG SPOILERS FOR SEASON 6 OF GAME OF THRONES.

How about that season of Game of Thrones? The first one to truly disembark from the books (with only a few sections from A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons thrown in) it hit way more highs than lows. Winter is FINALLY here, and it’s awesome!

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Nature’s Fury Blogathon: The Stand (1994)

This post is part of the Nature’s Fury Blogathon, hosted by Barry at Cinematic Catharsis. Read the rest of the posts in this furious event HERE!

Film and television have a long tradition of showing us how nature will one day turn against us, and most likely with help from human beings.

Stephen King’s epic apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic novel The Stand is a tale of how government manipulation of the flu bug for militaristic purposes accidentally escapes from a lab and wipes out most of the population.

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Game of Thrones Season 6 Premiere: Minor Characters Matter

As a reader of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books, it felt decidedly strange going into the Season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones. With the exception of some parts from A Feast of Crows, going forward the TV series is moving beyond events in the first five published books. We’re still waiting for publication of The Winds of Winter, the penultimate book in the series.

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William Holden Meets Lucy Ricardo, Hilarity Ensues!

This post is part of The Golden Boy Blogathon: A William Holden Celebration, hosted by Virginie at The Wonderful World of Cinema. Read the rest of the posts for this event HERE!

Big movie stars appearing on TV shows is fairly common nowadays—sometimes playing characters, sometimes playing themselves. We call it “stunt casting.” The classic 1950s sitcom I Love Lucy, which was a groundbreaking show in many respects, pretty much invented the practice. It has rarely, if ever, been done as well since.

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F Troop: The Courtship of Wrangler Jane

This post is part of the 2nd Annual Favourite TV Show Episode Blogathon, hosted by Terry at A Shroud of Thoughts. Read the rest of the entries for this event HERE!

I can’t tell you how much I envy young girls today. Young women can watch movies and TV shows with amazing heroines such as Rey, Katniss, Hermione, Tris, Peggy Carter, the female Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as long overdue reboots of classic action heroines such as Supergirl and Wonder Woman.

It’s far from perfect and we still have a long way to go, but when I was a little girl, during the mid-1960s, the list was much, much shorter. Continue reading “F Troop: The Courtship of Wrangler Jane”

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Random Thoughts on the Final Season of Downton Abbey

SPOILERS FOR SEASON 6 OF DOWNTON ABBEY. DO NOT READ IF YOU STILL PLAN TO CATCH UP ON THE FINAL SEASON.

It’s over! It’s all over! No more snarky bon mots by Violet! No more snarky anything from Mary! No more life treating Edith like the raggedy puppy mean people want to kick! No more members of the Bates family arrested on trumped-up criminal charges! No more Carson wringing his hands over the way his world is changing!

Whatever shall we do?

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Telenovelas and their Influence on American TV

This post is part of The Hispanic Heritage Blogathon 2015, hosted by Aurora at Once Upon a Screen. Read the rest of the posts in this event HERE!

When my family lived in Spain, I frequently heard radionovelas (the Spanish equivalent of radio soap operas here in America) playing in the background. My mother and our maid Carmen would often do the ironing while they were on.

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2015 TV Shows I Was Looking Forward To – How’d They Do?

Late last year I wrote about some television shows I was looking forward to in 2015. Most on the list have already been broadcast, so I thought it was a good time for a review before the official start of the 2015 Fall season. (Does that even have meaning anymore? Shows debut every period of the year. Oh, well, another topic for another day.) Continue reading “2015 TV Shows I Was Looking Forward To – How’d They Do?”

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John Hurt’s Show-Stopping Turn as Caligula in I, Claudius

This post is part of the “Love Hurt” Blogathon, hosted by Janet at Sister Celluloid. Read the other posts about the amazing John Hurt here!

Robert Graves’ remarkable historical novels about the first Emperors of Rome were adapted for television in 1976 by the BBC. To this day I, Claudius is considered one of the best mini-series of all time. Though the production seems antiquated now, it hardly matters. Featuring many great performances, including Derek Jacobi as Claudius, Sian Phillips as his murderous grandmother Livia, Brian Blessed as Emperor Augustus, George Baker as Emperor Tiberius, Margaret Tyzack as Antonia, and Patrick Stewart as Sejanus, among others, it would take a lot to stand out in this crowd of amazing thespians.

John Hurt, as Caligula, does just that.

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Fawlty Towers: Gourmet Night

This post is my contribution to the My Favourite TV Show Episode Blogathon, hosted by Terry of A Shroud of Thoughts. Read the rest of the contributions HERE!

When I was in junior high school, Monty Python’s Flying Circus was very, very big with my classmates. I watched a few episodes but didn’t care for it. It just wasn’t my cup of tea–at least, at the time. (I love it now.)

So I wasn’t that interested in seeing Fawlty Towers, starring and co-written by Monty Python alum John Cleese, when it was first broadcast on my local public television station.

The only reason I checked it out at all is because the first Masterpiece Theater showing of Poldark, starring Robin Ellis, had just finished. After the credits rolled, an announcer bade the audience to stick around to see Ellis guest star in the first episode of Fawlty Towers.

I wasn’t ready to let go of Poldark quite yet (yes, I had a crush on Robin Ellis) so I watched the pilot episode of Fawlty Towers, A Touch of Class.

Need I say more? Of course, I was immediately hooked.

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Emma Thompson’s Screenplay for Sense and Sensibility: The Best Austen Adaptation?

This post is part of the 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon, hosted by Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled, Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club and Aurora of Once Upon a Screen. Click HERE for a list of the other posts for Week 3: The Crafts.

I can already hear cries of “blasphemy!” just because the title of this post. (I did put a question mark at the end!)

I would venture to guess if you polled Jane Austen fans, the most popular adaptation of her work would far and away turn out to be the 1995 six-part BBC TV mini-series of Pride & Prejudice, starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. It is certainly the adaptation that kicked off the now-20 year long resurgence of Austen’s work.

As lovely as that series is, and as perfectly cast as it is, it doesn’t quite do it for me as far as capturing the Jane Austen novels I love so dearly. I know when people hear Austen’s name, they think first and foremost that she wrote romances. I, on the other hand, would argue she did not write romances at all. She actually satirized the romances of her day. Her stories are survival stories, where marriage is the only respectable way for most of her heroines to escape poverty. Even in her novel Emma, that features a heroine who is wealthy and of the highest rank in her small sphere, there are two secondary characters–Harriet Smith and Jane Fairfax–for whom marriage is a vital matter of economic survival and respectability.

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Buster Keaton Enters The Twilight Zone

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This post is part of The Buster Keaton Blogathon, hosted by Silent-ology. Click HERE for a list of all the participants!

My first viewing of a Buster Keaton movie came in a roundabout way: during the early 1970s, my mother liked seeing rock concert films of the Woodstock variety. She would drag me and my sister to see them, under the theory that young people like rock music. (Perhaps we did, but that did not necessarily include liking concert movies, which we found horribly boring.)

One of these movies was playing as a double feature with a documentary film called Four Clowns, about four silent film comedic stars: Keaton, Charley Chase, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

Now, why anyone would think to pair a documentary film about silent film stars with a rock concert film remains a mystery to me to this day, but I’m grateful to the person who did it. While I had seen Laurel & Hardy sound films on television, I had never seen any of their silent work, and this was also my very first experience watching Buster Keaton.

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